The Supreme Court ratifies the decision to confiscate 4 dunoms of land in Sheikh Jarrah for the benefit of the occupation municipality
November 1, 2021

The Israeli Supreme Court issued a decision rejecting the appeal submitted by the families of Odeh, Jarallah, Obeidat and Mansour, the owners of the plot of land in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of Jerusalem, and approved the decision of the Jerusalem District Court that obliges the owners of the plot to hand over their disposal of this land to the municipality of Jerusalem and/or anyone before it claiming that this land is needed for the purpose of the public interest.

Lawyer Muhannad Jbara, who represented the owners of the land before the District Court in Jerusalem, explained that the talk is about a plot of land in a sensitive site in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood near the tomb of the “alleged Shimon Al-Siddiq’s tomb”, which is visited by Jewish settlers, and also close to “Karam Al-Jaouni”, the homes threatened with eviction by the settlement associations, in the Sheikh neighborhood, with an area of ​​4 dunoms.

In a statement, attorney Jbara explained that the land was included in the "Plan 5225" project approved since 1995 to establish a hotel in the area for the company "Mahi / Middle East Hotels", as the plan classified this land as an area of ​​public interest and services for the benefit of the planned hotel. However, the plan for the hotel has not been completed and no building permits have been submitted for it over a period of more than 25 years. In recent years, the Jerusalem Municipality has taken an interest in this land and expressed its intention and ambitions to control it for the purpose of preparing it as a public car park for the use of Jewish settlers, who visit the so-called “Simon al-Siddiq’s Tomb” adjacent to this land, where the mayor of Jerusalem previously issued an order to seize control of this land on the pretext that this land is needed for the purpose of establishing a parking lot. The mayor’s attempts failed after the owners of the land succeeded in failing the request in the local affairs court.

Attorney Jbara added that in the circumstances in which the Jerusalem municipality was insisting on controlling this land for the purpose of establishing a parking lot for settlers visiting the tomb of the so-called “Shimon al-Siddiq”, the Jerusalem municipality confiscated this land in 2016 “for the public interest,” according to Plan 5225,to establish the aforementioned hotel, despite the fact that those in charge of the hotel project did not move a finger to establish the hotel in the past 25 years. The Jerusalem municipality submitted a request to the Jerusalem District Court against the owners and disposers of the plot of land, asking them to hand over the disposal of the plot of land, and the DistrictCourt in Jerusalem issued last July its decision that obliges the owners of the plot of land and its disposers to hand over the land to the Jerusalem municipality on the pretext that it needed to take control of this land for the purpose of handing it over to the project owners for the establishment of the hotel to implementing the project.

In his appeals to the Jerusalem District Court, lawyer Muhannad Jbara explained that the talk is about the Jerusalem municipality's attempt to control this land for the purpose of implementing the plan that the mayor had previously revealed for the purpose of establishing a car park for settlers, and not for the hotel. It affirmed the decision of the order to hand over the disposal of the plot of land to the Jerusalem municipality, as stated in the decision of the District Court.

Attorney Muhannad Jbara warned of the danger of the Supreme Court’s decision to confiscate more than 4 dunoms of Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood in Jerusalem, for its sensitive location near “Karam al-Ja’ouni” and the homes threatened with eviction, and said that the Jerusalem municipality’s control of this plot of land gives settlers additional access to control this sensitive site, which may constitute a focus for attracting settlers who come to the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.